A report by Liana Satenstein for Vogue.
As Tome designers Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin can attest, it’s easy to become enamored with Tessa Thompson. The actress served as both a muse and the model for their first-ever large-scale capsule collection, which will be sold on Moda Operandi as of today. “She is just the coolest, smartest, political, sophisticated, and fabulous lady,” says Lobo of the actress. “She’ll do these dark, political, epic, and social commentary dramas. Plus, it was announced that she will be in the next Marvel comic films. And have you seen her in Creed? She played opposite of those two wonderful actors and kind of stole the show. She also sings, she’s a musician, and she wrote the music for Creed, as well! What can’t she do?”
The collection took its inspiration from Cuba, and the work of artist Belkis Ayon, which translated into a sultry swirl of easy-to-wear pieces like a décolletage-diving, broad-striped wrap dress, wide-leg cream pants, and pairings like a polished polka-dot collar shirt worn with a low-slung skirt bowed at the hip bone. Ayon was an Afro-Cuban artist whose work was known for its thematically dark undertones—an aesthetic that the Tome designers also connected with Thompson. “[In Ayon’s paintings] there is a pair of eyes staring at the viewer of all times,” says Lobo. “We are really interested in art that focuses on the feminine gaze, the eyes of a woman looking out into the world, and being who she is. I think that is what really struck us about Belkis’s work and that is how I feel about Tessa and her eyes.” Lobo and Martin also note that they are inspired by real women: “We believe that real women look better in our clothes. And Tessa is a real woman, but also immortalized on film now,” says Lobo. “A real woman has always been our beginning, center, and end of our process anyway. That is why we choose female artists [as the inspiration], too.” Sounds like a work of art.